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My Iranian of the year


April 5, 2005
Like many of you, I'm sucker for a good story and I love individuals who defy logic and conventional wisdom to get their point across. The world has gone so conservative, religious and politically correct that you hardly ever meet interesting people anymore; people who have the ability to entertain by insulting everything that is sacred to us. While the media is consumed by Christian zealots and Moslem fundamentalists, people who live alternative lives are completely ignored.

Speaking of interesting people, I came across an article in London's The Independent about an Iranian activist transsexual -- Fereydoon -- who is on a mission to expose the unfair treatment and hardship of transsexuals in Iran. I had no idea this was such a big issue!

It turns out that Fereydoon -- an ultra religious disco king who in the 1970s roamed the streets of Tehran in a velvet suit with red flames to only became a super deluxe revolutionary later in life -- had been tracking the religious leaders, including the Ayatollah himself, for blessing on his sex change operation.

Fereydoon was so assertive in his pursue of perfection that he somehow convinced the Islamic government not only to allow him to become a woman but to pay for his sex change operation!

"Ferey" tells the writer of The Independent, "When the war started, I did voluntary nursing work near the front line ... Some of the chemically wounded patients had sores that needed to be dressed near their groins, and sometimes they implied they had sexual feelings for me."

Wait up! First of all, if I was a "chemically wounded" soldier in the frontline with sores around my groins, "sexual feelings" would've been the last thing on my mind unless of course Fereydoon looked like Britney Spears (do you really look like Britney Spears?). As a matter of fact the only thing on my mind would have been more like, "Oh, shit, where's my penis?" 

Secondly, I would not have allowed a male nurse go anywhere near any groin area. That area is reserved for those who do not have groins of their own. It is the most sacred area of a man's body. It shall not be touched, penetrated, or infiltrated by anyone except those who are certified by qualified doctors as "female" immediately after birth.

Ferey also tells a story about his encounter with Ayatollah Khomeini who after a 30-minute meeting granted him the right to become a she-male!

I don't know about you, but Ayatollah Khomeini never did strike me as someone with a sense of humor.  I would pay serious money to find out what actually went on in that meeting, and maybe some day we will . But the fact that Ferey was able to arrange a meeting with the top dog, state his case to have his equipment chopped off and convince the Ayatollah to bless the operation is one hell of an achievement in my book.

Don't get me wrong. Britney Spears look-a-like or not, Ferey better not get fresh with my groin area. But I have to admire the huge balls on a man who wants to be a woman in a country where women are treated as second class citizens with fewer rights. In fact any transsexual who has the Islamic Republic of Iran wrapped around her groin area has got to be my Iranian of the year.

Siamack Baniameri is the author of The Iranican Dream, ( Publishing, December 2004). Also see

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